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Brian Charette: Music for Organ Sextette

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Determined not to follow the same ol’ bop, blues and ballads formula of most organ-group sessions, Hammond player Brian Charette takes a different route on this renegade sextet outing. Working with four distinct voices-Jay Collins’ flute, John Ellis’ bass clarinet, Joel Frahm’s tenor and Mike DiRubbio’s alto-Charette takes this session to places that Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff never dreamed of. There’s the Bach-inspired “Fugue for Kathleen Anne/Ex-Girlfriend Variations”; the oddly expressive reggae number “The Elvira Pacifer,” which has Collins quoting from Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” in his flute solo; and the shape-shifting “Risk,” which perfectly describes Charette’s m.o. throughout this wildly imaginative project. Other original takes on organ-group fare include the odd-metered stop-time vehicle “Computer God,” the Olivier Messiaen-inspired “French Birds” and Charette’s brush with the avant-garde on “Mode for Sean Wayland.” There’s still plenty of boppish burn and blues here-“Equal Opportunity,” the shuffle-swing section of “Risk” and the gospel-tinged “Prayer for an Agnostic”-but no bossa.

Originally Published